In an effort to encourage Millenials to sign up for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado launched a series of ads as part of a campaign entitled “Got Insurance?”
The series of ads feature young adults (18-26) in “typical” situations that are intended to be fresh and speak to us on our own level. Most of the ads, nicknamed “brosurance,” AKA insurance for bros, are offensive, and some might say, stupid. One of the worst shows a young woman holding a package of birth control pills with a guy standing next to her. The caption reads, “Let’s get physical. OMG he’s hot! Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers.”
I understand that this ad is supposed to target the “modern woman” who is in control of her life and makes her own decisions. This ad, however, just makes the girl look, well, not smart. It’s fine to use birth control, and it’s fine to talk about sex openly. What’s not OK is the fact that the girl in the ad seems to be saying that she only takes birth control so she can have sex and in no way indicates that she is practicing safe sex.
When targeting a specific age group, it’s important to understand said age group. What people do in their private lives should stay there. This approach most definitely didn’t do it for me. It is critical for brands and government organizations to listen first, and begin to communicate after gaining an understanding of how and where their target wants to be communicated with. And yes, I said with, not to.